Sustainability Tips

Check out these ideas for how to live, learn and work sustainably on campus. Big or small, your actions add up—so try one of these tips today!

Energy & Emissions

  • Turn off the lights. So basic—yet so effective!
  • Set your thermostat between 68-76°F.
  • Close the windows when you leave.
  • Energy Star identifies energy-efficient products and other ways to save energy—and money!
  • Check out a Kill A Watt© device from the U-M library to see how much energy your devices use.
  • Leave space around radiators and vents. If they are blocked, the system may run more frequently to achieve the desired temperature.
  • Learn how to minimize the carbon footprint of events, such as by hosting a virtual event.
  • Estimate travel-related emissions and choose lower-impact modes where possible. 
  • For U-M staff:
  • For labs:
    • Shut the sash on fume hoods when not in use.
    • Consider purchasing an efficient ultra-low temp freezer when time for replacement or setting to -70°C instead of -80°C.


Ride the bus, ride a bike, carpool, walk—there are lots of options to reduce the environmental impact of getting around. Check out U-M’s alternative transportation resources.

Waste Reduction

Sustainable Food

Protect the Huron River Water Quality

  • Don’t put anything except water down storm drains, which carry storm water to local waterways. That means no motor oil, detergents, litter, or fertilizers.
  • Keep an eye out for fluid leaks from your car and address any that arise.
  • Pick up after your pet. Pet waste is raw sewage.
  • Report on-campus spills or dumping to DPSS.

Everything Else

  • For U-M staff: consult U-M’s sustainable purchasing guide to buy items that are environmentally preferable.
  • Sustainable Computing provides advice on energy efficiency, print reduction, and e-waste recycling.
  • Make your next phone, computer, or TV a greener pick by consulting the EPEAT ratings from the Consumer Electronics Council.